In response to Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962) out of committee, GOP leaders have filed a discharge petition that needs 218 signatures to force a vote. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require appropriate medical care be given to any child who survives an attempted abortion, it would also establish criminal penalties for health care practitioners that violate this requirement and a civil right of action to enforce the law (the mother of a child born alive may not be prosecuted).
This bill comes at a time when several states have recently passed or proposed laws to legalize abortion up until birth. In an interview with WTOP News, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam even said that it would be acceptable to kill an innocent baby after birth if it is what the mother wanted. According to Gov. Northam:
If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
It is unconscionable that under current law a health care practitioner is unaccountable for refusing to give proper care to a baby born alive. Whether they believe in abortion or not, health care practitioners must do everything in their power to save a life after it is born.
In her report on the necessity of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Melanie Israel, research associate in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, provides a helpful background and summary on the bill:
Current federal policy insufficiently protects babies who are born alive following an attempted abortion. While current law recognizes that all infants born alive are “persons,” babies who survive an abortion attempt are left vulnerable because the law provides for no requirements that health care practitioners treat the infant with the same degree of care afforded to any other newborn. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would remedy this problem by requiring that proper medical care be given to infants who survive an abortion and establishing criminal consequences for practitioners who fail to do so.
Many Democrats claim that the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act “threatens women’s health” by restricting access to reproductive health care, making it harder for a woman to get an abortion. This could not be further from the truth. Saving the life of a baby born alive following an abortion procedure has nothing to do with “women’s health.” H.R. 962 does not impact the legality of abortion, it simply requires that a health care practitioner “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
While Congress must do everything in its power to limit abortion, especially late-term abortions when the child is capable of pain, this bill is about protecting the life of a child that has already been born. Even a member of Congress who believes in abortion should see the wisdom in supporting a bill that saves a child’s life after a failed abortion attempt. Members on both sides of the aisle who care about basic human rights should sign this discharge petition.
The Heritage Foundation: Protecting Babies Who Survive an Abortion Should Not Be Controversial
The Heritage Foundation: The Necessity of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
Heritage Action for America: Setting the Record Straight on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act: Claims and Responses
The Heritage Foundation: Defending Life: Opportunities for the 115th Congress
The Daily Signal: Democrats’ Radical Push on Abortion Will Backfire
WTOP: Virginia Governor on Abortion: Infant Would be Resuscitated if that is What the Mother and the Family Desired
National Review: Why a Ban on Infanticide Is Necessary
Public Discourse: It Is Never Necessary to Intentionally Kill a Fetal Human Being to Save a Woman’s Life